Friday, September 25, 2009

i have a bone to pick with uva.

Or rather, the systems that we switched to this semester. But more on that in a few moments, I have an Honor Loan applicant waiting for me.

As I was saying, I have a bone to pick with UVA (for once). Granted, it's no one's fault and there's always kinks with a new system, blahblahblah, but seriously, I'm really highly irritated with the new Student Integrated Systems that the entire school switched over to this year.

Not only is it confusing to use (students say I hate SIS instead of I hate ISIS now), but it's also caused massive troubles with financial aid. More than half the applicants I have (and my office hours are usually full every day, it's slightly ridiculous) stem from financial aid being delayed thanks to SIS acting up on student accounts. Seriously, I'd hate for it to be a month into school and still not have my financial aid because our computer systems can't get their act together.

That, and several other stories of annoyance and frustration is a bone that I've got to pick with UVa.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ooh, first blood!

Ooh, tonight marks the first of a special occasion... my first rejection of this year's recruiting season!

Yes, y'all might think I'm utterly nuts to use an exclamation point to say that I've been rejected from a company, but to be honest I'm grateful I got an interview at this company at all. I was the only non finance major interviewing for a finance position at this very prestigious company, and I personally think I did myself proud thinking on my feet at this interview. This rejection has just spurred my determination to give it my all for these next two months. I'm exciting for the types of people I'll met, the offices I'll be seeing, and the places I'll be travelling to. And no, this isn't sleep deprivation talking. =D

This is an entry about jobs primarily because tomorrow's the Commerce Career Day. Was it a year ago that I was blogging about attending CCD as a third year? As I put off doing prep work for tomorrow... here's what usually occurs at a career fair.

So the world of internships and jobs may seem like a hazy unknown to most people, especially considering most of you are trying to decide what college to attend. When you arrive on Grounds though, you immediately think of, "alright, I'm here. What's next?" The big bad scary real world, or graduate school for the lucky few. One thing that you'll need to learn how to do (and something that I feel our comm school does a great job of) is learn how to work a career fair and network with professionals.

What are the most important things you need to have when talking to employers? A 30 second elevator speech and some darned good questions.

A 30 second elevator speech is a quick, introductory speech that catches people's attentions. What if you met the single most influential person in your life in the elevator. What would you say? How would you act? Do you smile and try to crack a joke? Or do you act somber and mature? As I've mentioned a few times in other posts, your self introduction should really reflect your personality. If you're normally a funny person, definitely go for humor. Just try not to be what you're not. It's painfully obvious and makes for stilted, awkward conversations. You definitely don't want to be remembered for that.

As for questions, it's really a way to differentiate yourself from other people. Think about it, employers (and admissions officers), meet hundreds, if not thousands of people, over the course of a recruiting season. You want them to remember you and pull for you when your resume (or application) comes up in the pool. You could try to stick out through that killer joke, or that scintillating conversation on the future of the Euro. I like to think of unusual questions. Most people tend to ask the same or vague questions. You definitely make a big impression if your questions are atypical (in a good way!).

Seniors are probably hardcore doing applications right now, good luck! Drop me a comment if you have a question.

dancin' the night away...

Well, not quite. I just came back from the Taiwanese Students' Association dance practice for Culturefest.

Culturefest is the annual performance that all the cultural organizations put on during UVA's Parent's Weekend. Orgs usually sing a song in their native tongue, do a popular dance back home, or put on some type of martial arts display.

As you could tell from my opening line, I'm Taiwanese. I actually grew up in Taiwan for 15 years after spending the beginning of my life in NOVA. So.. it's quite complisticated where I'm from. For our performance at this year's Culturefest, we're doing a dance that I'm just... slightly ashamed to be doing. It's a very Taiwanese style of dancing... which is to say there's lots of random pontificating and hilarious movements. For those of you who are interested.. le sigh. Don't laugh too hard please.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

DONE with the scary accounting project!

...that has consumed my life for the last two weeks. I've finally just wrapped up working around 15 hours for my "Accounting Information Systems" class. Woot. I'm so bleary right now.

Apparently AIS is the "scary" class in the accounting concentration. There's definitely been a lot of homework (which I think has helped weed out a lot of people), but I would honestly say that there's a lot of value in all the homework. As an accountant, or auditor, you really need to know how your systems work, where there's potential for fraud or where controls might fail. Yeah, I probably sound like your typical book devouring nerd right now. =P

School's been in session for roughly three weeks now, and I've gotten a much better handle on my classes. For those of you who enter the comm school, I highly recommend "Negotiations" with Professor Bass. He's an excellent professor with lots of experience, and we've been learning in the best way through doing actual negotiations. I'm slightly sad though, yesterday was the first time in which I didn't have a successful negotiation. I was an employer, and my partner was a student I'd just extended an offer to. We didn't come to an agreement because she wanted a much higher salary than I was willing to offer, and I realized through the course of our negotiations that she seemed to be in it for the short term, while I was looking to build a long term team. This incompatibility in goals really spurred my decision to not keep pursuing this deal. Hopefully the professor sees it that way too tomorrow, *shrug.

I also recommend Professor Porter's "Federal Taxation I" class. While it might seem like the boringest subject on earth and that you'd rather gouge your own eyeballs out before learning about tax, the professor actually makes it a really interesting subject. Her lecture outlines explain difficult concepts very clearly, and her method of teaching somehow manages to capture the class' interest.

I also had my first interview on, incidentally, the first day that interviews started. Kicking off this recruitment season was probably the hardest interview I had in my life. A lot of it had to do with my atypical background, and I definitely got drilled on some technical questions (and this was the interviewer being nice to me!). However, I have to say that it's been my most enjoyable one thus far, precisely because it was so challenging. I appreciated the questions and hope I rose to the occasion.

Morale of that story is, don't be in a hurry to pigeon hole yourself into a future career path when you come into college. My resume was probably one of the last things the interviewer expected to see, and yet I still received an interview offer. Things change, your interests change, and you end up finding out that your personality is actually better suited elsewhere. The world is your oyster, embrace it. =)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

looking for a successor!

Alright, I've decided that it's time to hand over the bat and give this position to someone else. This is the blurb that will hopefully be circulating newsletters sometime soon. If any of you guys reading this (all 100+ a day! Someone comment!) have a friend who you think would be great for this, please point them my way!


Try out to be the next UVA student blogger!
Blog whatever you like, completely uncut and uncensored.
Give prospective students a view of good ole TJ's University!

Send two entries to by Oct. 5th.
Blog located @

And yes, I will do some reveal type thing at the end since my CC account keeps getting peppered with messages.

another disastrous football game?

Alright, so at this point in time I don't even really want to comment on our football team anymore. Hey, they try and the student body definitely appreciates that. There are some few choice words about certain key people in the football program that I heard at last Saturday's game that I don't want to repeat however...

So let's focus on our other awesome teams, such as men's tennis, women's swim, and men's basketball (to name the ones I read about the Cav Daily today). As usual, I'm always in awe of student athletes. I can't imagine having to get up to work out at 6 am, go to class, go to afternoon practice, probably some evening workouts, and then finally getting to do work. There was actually a guy on the football team in my comm block last semester, and the poor guy was travelling when our group projects were due. I think his team worked out something like meeting for two days straight, working on it just a little bit when he was gone, and staying up all night the night before the presentation to go over any final changes.

For this time's football game though, I can cross something off the 100+ list of things to do before you graduate list -- I tailgated on the Lawn! It was a club tailgate since one of the co-chairs is a Lawnie. The way a Lawn tailgate works is that there's usually music playing from the room, a folding table set up outside with food and drinks, and games going on in the Lawn. I ate lots of wings, played some frisbee, and wished that my club had a crochet set like some other rooms were playing. Tailgating on the Lawn is quite an experience, I wish I'd had the chance to do it before. And, to cap off this day's entry -- here's a picture of our marching band at the beginning of the game.

Monday, September 7, 2009

i sound like frankenstein...

Honest to goodness, I sound like Frankenstein. Over the weekend I've developed the worst sorethroat ever, I've been croaking to all the Honor Loan applicants I've had today, and if my lymph nodes get anymore swollen I swear they'd burst. Sigh. Argh! No time to be sick! Get better now!

The good things is is that I don't have the dreaded H1N1 swine flu. (I'm glad I'm not infecting other people and don't have to take a week off school...) Although for some reason, swine flu's been hitting UVA harder than most colleges. We have around 34 cases right now at school -- resulting from one crazy 17 case increase overnight. I've been trying to figure out why that's the case, and I really haven't been able to come up with an answer. It's not as if we have significantly different living situations compared to other schools. *shrug* A combination of climate and location? Any speculations from the audience?

Parents will be glad to hear that Student Health's on top of the issue though. We've received I'd say no less than 10 related emails since school started, and will be offering vaccines later this month or October. As a morbid friend and I like to say, diseases like swine flu, SARs, avian flu and what have you are the modern black plague. Is this nature's way of population control?

And on that disturbing note...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

september already?

Rahh! Say it isn't so! But before I degenerate into my usual fist-shaking-at-sky-in-attempt-to-delay-graduation bit, let's move on to an event I'm attending tonight through the comm school - a Business Advisory Services Panel.

For all you potential consultants out there, what I've learned though my Strategic Management Consulting class (and through general osmosis of information in comm school hallways), is that this industry has been hard hit by the financial crisis. There's a dearth of jobs and a huge supply of highly talented and qualified people pounding the streets. Looking a bit grim there. =(

However, a bright spot is that business advisory services have really picked up in the last couple of years. In spite of all the doom and gloom, they're actually showing a small growth in the industry (for all non business minded folks, that's major in these times). So tonight, I'll be attending a panel with AlixPartners, E&Y, PwC, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Navigant Consulting presiding. I'm really looking forward to this, it'll be an interesting three hours.

sittin' in my office...

Alright, next bit of my post will reveal a lot of my personal identity *dundundunnnn!*

I'm currently sitting in my office in the Office of the Dean of Students, holding Honor Loan office hours. I'm the Honor Loan officer this year, which means I make short term, emergency loans to students in need. This means I hold 10 office hours a week, sitting in Peabody (hey, if any of you are campus touring -- come upstairs after the tour to say hi to me!) and reviewing loan applications. It's pretty awe inspiring to realize how much the school trusts its students when I have access to a $100,000+ fund. Student self governance at its best. This is why I love this place so much. =)

I walked in about half an hour ago to all the deans frantically taking rubber wristbands out of small individual bags and repackaging them into brown paper bags. They were prepping for the new tailgating rules on the Lawn -- it's a tradition for Lawn residents to hold tailgates outside their rooms before football games, and this year is no different. However, residents are limited to 40 guests this year, controlled by wristbands designating that you're a guest of this resident. The wristbands are a cute green, but I for one am still not in favor of this new policy. This creates so much hassle for both the office and the resident. Of course, the argument is that yes you'll have to know who all your guests are, but who's to say I'll always know who my guests are? What if I open my tailgate to the new members of my CIO -- how on earth would I have gotten to known them after one general meeting? Isn't this the whole point of get togethers, to get to know people you don't? Instead, this feels like it encourages elitism by reserving the Lawn for close friends of residents, not to mention what a headache it'll be to collect wristbands at the end of the tailgate before people run off to the game in their excitement. I don't know, I have my doubts about this